News Picks : UK to announce shortlist of sites for commercial spaceport
Guardian: The British government will choose one of eight sites as the location for the nation's first commercial spaceport. A few days prior to stepping down as science minister on 14 July, David Willetts said that the government had already established a regulatory system for space launches. That would allow companies such as Virgin Galactic and XCOR to launch space tourism flights from the spaceport, which the government hopes to have operational by 2018. The list of locations under consideration has not been made public, but sites in northern Scotland, near the cities of Bristol and Norfolk, and on the Outer Hebrides islands have previously been discussed as likely candidates. The creation of the spaceport is part of the UK's recent efforts to grow its space industry to be worth £40 billion ($68.6 billion) and employ 100 000 people by 2030.